Can you help with my MOOG project?

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Bloomie23
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Can you help with my MOOG project?

Post by Bloomie23 » Tue May 13, 2008 2:13 pm

Hello there im a music student from england and im wirting a paper on why people still use an analog system in a digital world .
and i was wondering if any one could tell me
why you still use analog ?
what sytem you use and how long ?
or just anything that you think might help .

thanks for reading
yours
Richard Bloomfield (25 UK )

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Post by Jack Spider » Tue May 13, 2008 2:54 pm

Welcome to VSE, Richard.

The main reasons I still use analogue synths are:

- for certain types of sound, they produce a quality of sound that digital synths can emulate very well, but not quite reproduce 100%. By this, I mean sitting down with the machine and hearing the sound straight from it, rather than a recording. The instabilities and imperfections of an analogue synth and how they affect the sound are a big part of the attraction.

- simplicity of operation. On most analogue synths, everything you need to program it is in front of you - no menus or sub-menus to navigate.

- a lot of my favourite artists used analogue synths, which triggered my interest in them, so there's a nostalgic attachment to them, for me.

At the moment, the only analogue synth I have is a Roland Jupiter 6, which I've used for two years now.

Hope this helps!
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Post by t.o.t.s. » Tue May 13, 2008 4:13 pm

Analog has it's character. Digital has it's character. Both sets of tools are useful so I use both. That's all.
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Post by Alex E » Tue May 13, 2008 4:46 pm

While I can't afford most analog synths, they do have a special presence to them that even the greatest VA cannot match for some reason. It's hard to explain.


I hate almost all software synths. Why? Well first of all, I almost never use presets. I love tweaking knobs. I want my own flavor of instant sonic gratification.
That's hard with software because I can't really touch and manipulate a software synth unless it offers dedicated hardware controls like on the Legacy collection.

Even with a good midi controller with knobs/sliders, it's not quite the same, and it gets extremely tedious when I use a mouse to turn knobs and move sliders around. It's like having one finger on one arm.

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Post by t.o.t.s. » Tue May 13, 2008 5:17 pm

"Even with a good midi controller with knobs/sliders, it's not quite the same, and it gets extremely tedious when I use a mouse to turn knobs and move sliders around. It's like having one finger on one arm. "

I agree entirely. I don't dislike softsynths but I certainly don't enjoy using them.. but I grew up using hardware so that's what I'm used to. I have friends that love and create great stuff with their softies.
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Post by nathanscribe » Tue May 13, 2008 6:02 pm

I was born in the early 70s, and grew up around early video games, with their bleeps and artificial sounds - and must have infused a good dose of synthpop too in the early 80s, without really thinking about what the noises were. When I got to college at the turn of the 90s and had left a couple of bands (as well as a bontempi organ & bunch of portasounds!), I bought a keyboard I didn't know anything about - turned out to be a Roland Juno 6 from 1982, analogue and (at the time) unfathomable. When I could get it to make sounds, I loved what it did. Even then, before I'd formed any real ideas about sounds I wanted to make, that struck something in me as being just right. I've dabbled since in various forms of synthesis, but always go back to tha analogues in the end.

Partly, I think that may be (as Jack said) nostalgia - not in the sense that "oh, so-&-so used one" but I think in an unconscious, formless way - somehow those sounds remind me of my childhood.

Overtly digital synthesis does little for me, though I keep a couple around for niche purposes, along with a couple of samplers (one 8-bit, one 16). I also have a couple of VAs, but despite the fact they emulate analogue effectively enough in the type of sounds they generate, the body of the sound is rarely the same in some indefinable way. I don't know if you could quantify the differences - bottom end, top end, drift, osc beating, filter behaviour, etc - but even when the interface is the same as an anlogue (knobby heaven) a VA will fail to inspire me much. People will often say a true analogue is 'organic' sounding, especially one with VCOs, and some will attest that DCOs are the clinical end of analogue; others disagree and say it's more down to the filter. We have endless debates here about this sort of thing...

It works both ways - a non-knobby analogue will still pull me in over a knobby digital. I can only conclude, in the lack of a definite reason, that it must be either a) something about the sound or b) the fact I know it's analogue, and I know I like analogue.

Despite my undeniable preference for analogue synths, I am much more keen on digital gear in other aspects of music making - I record digitally, use digital (as well as analogue) effects and processing, and I control my analogue synths via MIDI (everything from clock triggers to modulation changes). That's more about convenience and the ability to recall spontaneous playing or happy mistakes, and being able to use those wherever I like by the power of editing digital environments afford.

Hope that helps!
Last edited by nathanscribe on Tue May 13, 2008 9:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by GeneralBigbag » Tue May 13, 2008 7:53 pm

t.o.t.s. wrote:Analog has it's character. Digital has it's character. Both sets of tools are useful so I use both. That's all.
+1
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Post by THM » Tue May 13, 2008 8:33 pm

I follow the explanations that a.o. Jack Spider and Nathanscribe gave somewhere hereabove for the preference of analog synths.
I have experience with a big part of the most wellknown analog synths, VA synths, and digital synths (old and newer ones !) - some I owned in the past, some I had the chance to try very often with friends or several times at a synth store - but after all almost only kept analog synths myself (see my signature to see which ones) - mainly because of their superb sound and ease of use (one to one knob/feature instead of endless menu's).
The dark side of (old) analog synths are their tuning stability problems and the issues with finding spare parts, and (maybe somewhere less important) I miss the chance to store some sounds in most old synths that not have a patch storage memory. I mean if I have e.g. a great patch made with my Synthi, it's really boring to write all settings on an empty copy of a blanco patch sheet...
So this shows imho the biggest advantage of digital synths, VA, and software synths, i.e. the ability to store patches almost as much as you like. But there you lose that analog character of the sound...
Last edited by THM on Tue May 13, 2008 8:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by drawtippy » Tue May 13, 2008 8:36 pm

If you haven't watched the MOOG movie, I suggest you do. Dr. Bob talks a lot about connecting with an instrument on a mental level.

Personally I feel the difference between analog and digital is like driving a stick shift car vs. an automatic. You feel more connected to the operation of the car, the engine and the road with a manual shift. It takes more skill and understanding to operate one as well.

Also, I feel the sound is much better. In a mix, only a "synth head" can hear the difference between software and the real thing but by itself, analog sounds richer, warmer and has more character. Many a late night I have gotten "lost" inside one of my analog beasts. Just playing one note! Listening to filter sweeps or oscillators beating or poly portamento dives. You can do that on a modern synth but it's just not the same. It's not as beautiful.
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Re: Can you help with my MOOG project?

Post by Jazzpunk » Tue May 13, 2008 11:51 pm

Bloomie23 wrote:Hello there im a music student from england and im wirting a paper on why people still use an analog system in a digital world .
What's this 'digital world' you speak of? Are you talking about those cute little software simulations of real synthesizers? I'll certainly give credit where credit's do and say 'Hats off' to the fine folks in the GUI departments! :wink:

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Post by nickeax » Wed May 14, 2008 2:51 am

I like to use analogue synths because the knob you're holding has current running through it that's on it's way to producing the sound. I don't know which sounds better out of digital or analogue, but if you are happy, then that's important.

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Post by Stab Frenzy » Wed May 14, 2008 3:23 am

GeneralBigbag wrote:
t.o.t.s. wrote:Analog has it's character. Digital has it's character. Both sets of tools are useful so I use both. That's all.
+1
nickeax wrote:I don't know which sounds better out of digital or analogue, but if you are happy, then that's important.
:thumbright:

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Post by nickeax » Wed May 14, 2008 3:45 am

I compared the sounds and waveforms of the microKORG and the Minimoog in this little vid:



I'll be keeping my microKORG! :-)

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Post by MrFrodo » Wed May 14, 2008 3:57 am

Hello Richard,

I first started getting into the use of analog products because of an interest in emulating the sounds from many of my favourite records from the 70's and 80's. The first two I used regularly were the ARP Axxe and the Roland JX-8p/PG-800. I felt much more adventure with those two than the Alesis QS6 or other digital synths I had access to.

Anyway, I also bought into the hype that digital couldn't touch analog.

After I entered my mid-20's, I got a Rland JX-10 and a Minimoog Voyager, which became the essential analog guts of my current rig. I also obtained a good friend's Korg 05rw module, which is my digital box of choice. (I still use the Alesis for organs and DX-style tubular bells.)

The Voyager provides wonderful leads, basses and filter effects. The JX produces killer pads, brass and strings (though I also use the 05rw for strings) and occasional leads. I could get the same stuff from a modeling synth, but that will profive a different character from authentic analog.

Dr. Robert Moog said before he died that musicians connect with the the innards of synths like the Voyager in a spiritual way. The way he said it gave me the impression that the Voyager is like the Theremins he produced. Don't know about digital synths, but I'd like to believe that all analog gear is similar in that way.

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Post by electro funker » Wed May 14, 2008 7:10 am

The filters are proberly the main reason for me. My Micro modular can do all kinds of stuff, but the filter is so weak. I use my cs-10 for the filtersweeps and external filter... And those VA filters I have heard, really do suck (ms2000, Nord lead 2x etc...)

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